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"I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander."
- Isaac Asimov

Sand Ship  
  A wind-powered vehicle in the desert.  

Across the ancient sea floor a dozen tall, blue-sailed Martian sand ships floated, like blue smoke. "Sand ships! But there aren't any more, Elma, no more sand ships." ...
"The sand ship. Get in!"
"And let you drive me in a sand ship? Oh no."
"Get in! I can do it!" He shoved her in, jumped in behind her, and flapped the tiller, let the cobalt sail up to take the evening wind. The stars were bright and the blue Martian ships were skimming across the whispering sands. At first his own ship would not move, then he remembered the sand anchor and yanked it in.
"There!" The wind hurled the sand ship keening over the dead sea bottom, over long-buried crystals, past upended pillars, past deserted docks of marble and brass, past dead white chess cities, past purple foothills, into distance. The figures of the Martian ships receded and then began to pace Sam's ship. ...
The blue phantom ships loomed up behind them, drawing steadily apace. He did not see them at first. He was only aware of a whistling and a high windy screaming, as of steel on sand, and it was the sound of the sharp razor prows of the sand ships preening the sea bottoms, their red pennants, blue pennants unfurled. In the blue light ships were blue dark images, masked men, men with silvery faces, men with blue stars for eyes, men with carved golden ears, men with tinfoil cheeks and ruby-studded lips, men with arms folded, men following him, Martian men.
... Now the great ships turned as lightly as moon thistles. Their wing-sails flapped with a sound of soft applause on the air. The masks were coruscating, turning, firing the shadows.
... In the blowing moonlight, like metal petals of some ancient flower, like blue plumes, like cobalt butterflies immense and quiet, the old ships turned and moved over the shifting sands, the masks beaming and glittering, until the last shine, the last blue color, was lost among the hills.
From The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury.
Published by Various in 1950
Additional resources -

This quote is from the story "The Off Season".

See also the Sand Yachts from J.G. Ballard's 1966 short story Cry Hope, Cry Fury!.

Thanks to Connor Lawrence for contributing this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Martian Chronicles
  More Ideas and Technology by Ray Bradbury
  Tech news articles related to The Martian Chronicles
  Tech news articles related to works by Ray Bradbury

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